What does it say?
Eliphaz continues his discourse saying that God is just; he believes that if Job would just turn to the Lord, confessing and forsaking his sin, the Lord will restore him. Job answers, saying, that his friends or no comfort, he has no pleasure in life, he desires death rather than what he has been given. Job upholds his righteousness, saying, “Show me were I have erred.” To Job, life seems futile. Man labors all of his days then dies. Job finds no comfort, if he lies down to sleep he is tormented with dreams. Job questions why would God be concerned about him. Job wants to know what he has done to offended God.
What does it mean?
Job’s friend Eliphaz believes that God is just and he is correct in saying so but does not understand that Job’s suffering is not because Job has personally sinned. Eliphaz does not know that God allowed Satan to take Job’s wealth and health. It is easy for men to fall into despair when the world around us crumbles. What hope is there in life when there is no pleasure. God is just but he allows evil. Why? God only knows. When counseling our neighbor, who is in despair, we should not assume that God is punishing them. The Lord is a just God who allows evil to exist in this present world. Innocent people suffer horribly in the world that we live in and people who hate God live wealthy and healthy all of the days of their lives. Is there injustice with God? Job does not curse God or say that he is unjust but he questions why God is against him and wants to know what he has done wrong. Job does not know that neither is the case. We should trust that our present suffering has a Divine purpose, even though we cannot understand that purpose now. We must trust the Lord!
What shall I do?
This may seem insignificant to some but I assure you that it is a big deal to me. In one month I will celebrate my 52nd birthday. At the age of 5, I began running with my dad. I cannot recall a week of my life that I haven’t gone for a run outdoors. Six weeks ago, the plantar fascia in my right foot ruptured. I was placed in an orthopedic boot and told that I couldn’t run for 6 weeks. I have been depressed these past 6 weeks. Running is my respite. When I feel sad or angry, I go for a run and all seems better when I return. I do a great deal of meditating while running. I have preached many a sermon to myself during a 1 1/2 hour run. Job could not get away from his problems even in sleep. The one thing that gives me respite from this world was taken away. Should I think it is because God is against me or because I have done something wrong? We live in a fallen world in which bad things happen. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God; therefore, there are no good people when we compare ourselves to the holy standard of God’s law. However, God declares all who are in Jesus Christ righteous. Why should those whom God declared righteous suffer? Some are imprisoned and some beaten for Christ. Why is this allowed? I shall trust the Lord our God, that he is causing all things to work together for good. (Rom 8:28) I may never know the reason for certain sufferings but I shall trust the word of the Lord that he is good.